President Obama marked Israel’s independence day with a call for the Jewish state to accept a two-state agreement with the Palestinians:
I send my warmest wishes to the Israeli people as they celebrate their independence. Generations of Jews dreamed of the day when the Jewish people would have their own state in their historic homeland, and 66 years ago today that dream came true. Today, Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy and as a “start-up nation” that celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation.
The United States was the first nation to recognize the government of Israel in 1948, and today we are still the first to come to Israel’s defense. The enduring relationship between our two nations, based on shared democratic values and our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, has never been stronger. We will continue to work with Israel to support a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, one that ensures that the Israelis will live alongside their neighbors in peace and with security.
On behalf of the American people, I wish President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Israeli people a joyous Yom Ha’atzmaut.
The peace-plan talks pushed by the administration were called off with the Fatah-Hamas joint operating agreement, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to sit at a negotiating table with a terrorist organization.
Netanyhau stressed at his cabinet meeting Sunday that he’s moving forward with a law to define Israel as a Jewish state.
“Of course, there are those who do not want the State of Israel to be defined as the nation-state of the Jewish People. They want a Palestinian nation-state to be established alongside us and that Israel should gradually become a binational, Arab-Jewish state inside shrunken borders. But I simply say that one cannot hold the national stick at both of its national ends. They cannot say that they want to separate from the Palestinians in order to prevent a binational state, which has a certain logic, and also sanctify a binational, Jewish-Arab state within the permanent borders of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“The State of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation-state of one people only – the Jewish People – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status.”